Oklahoma African American Family Film Festival
February 15, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
The Oklahoma Historical Society’s Black Heritage Committee will present the Oklahoma African American Family Film Festival and workshop at the Oklahoma History Center on Saturday, February 15, from noon to 5 p.m. This event will include a presentation of videos, films and, raw, unedited footage documenting the history and culture of the African American experience in Oklahoma. The event will also feature Oklahoma filmmakers and films pertaining to the Sooner State. The festival is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office will also give a presentation about their consistent efforts to grow the film and music industries statewide.
The majority of the films that will be showcased are inaugural efforts by Oklahomans interested in the state’s African American history and culture. During the event, attendees can view the trailer for the new film Black Wall Street Burning (2020) and meet its creators, Dekoven Riggins and Marcus E. Brown.
Featured films include:
– A Cavalcade of Opportunity: Black Firefighters in OKC (c. 1991), hosted by B. J. Glover
– Clearview, A Town of History, Searching for its Future, produced by BC Productions in Salida, California
– I. W. Lane: Blacks‘ Right to Vote (1969), this high school project includes a rare interview with Hellen Lane Wilson, Lane’s granddaughter
– Collective Visions: A History of African American Women in Oklahoma, 1833 to 1921 (1990), produced by Dr. Dorscine Spigner Littles
– Inside Buffalo: The Story of African American WWII Soldiers of the 92nd Division (2010), by Fred Kuwornu
The Inside Buffalo documentary includes President Bill Clinton’s White House ceremony honoring seven Medal of Honor soldiers. Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers from Tecumseh, Oklahoma, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. This medal is currently on display at the Oklahoma History Center.
The festival will also include recorded theatrical productions:
– Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, a Works Progress Administration Federal Writers’ Project, was originally a radio play broadcast on KOMA on November 26, 1938. In 2004 it was revised and directed by Sharon Fisher.
– Brown-Skinned Rich Girl: The Story of Sarah Rector, a play written by Kathleen Watkins and directed by Alan Washington. In 1913 this 11-year-old girl from Taft, Oklahoma, was declared “the richest Colored girl in America.”